IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Enhancing knowledge sharing and building capacity for water resources management: Insights from Southern Africa

Jean-Marie Kileshye-Onema1,2, Hodson Makurira1,3, and Nnenesi Kgabi4
Jean-Marie Kileshye-Onema et al.
  • 1WaterNet, Harare, Zimbabwe
  • 2School of Engineers, University of Lubumbashi, DR Congo
  • 3Faculty of Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
  • 4Research Support Department, North-West University, South Africa

Over the past 21 years, WaterNet, a regional network that harnesses the complementary strengths of its 79 Members institutions,  has been assisting the water sector in the Southern Africa region to unlock its potential and provide capacity building in (i) graduate education, (ii)  collaborative research, (iii) continuous professional development, (iv) knowledge management and outreach. This paper provides insights, lessons learnt and reflections on future direction to be considered in rolling out of this regional initiative on capacity building with a focus on education, knowledge sharing and outreach for the water sector. WaterNet evolved from a project concept into a fully registered entity and SADC subsidiary institution for human and institutional capacity development for water resources management.  This regional initiative has been implemented through 5-year phases informed by strategies that are aligned with SADC Regional Strategic Action Plans, African Agenda (E.g. 2063) and global directions such as the Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals. WaterNet has grown to be accepted as a leader in capacity development for the water sector in the region, through its IWRM Masters programme that was jointly delivered by seven regional universities up to December 2021. The earlier phases largely relied on external expertise, the latter phases saw more and more trainers and teachers being sourced from the Network and region. The Network itself has gained knowledge and experience to develop, update and implement various aspects of the capacity building programme, and several universities have developed or have initiated the development of their own fully fledged Masters programme in IWRM. Research efforts from MSc and PhD work has yielded more than 500 publications which have attracted international audience. The WaterNet next phase (Phase V, 2022-2026) will further emphasised on outreach beyond the academic community. Emphasis will also be placed on sustainability of the network and research outputs that have impact on communities and will incorporate climate change, systemic thinking and innovation.

Keywords: WaterNet, Capacity building, Knowledge sharing, Integrated Water Resources Management

How to cite: Kileshye-Onema, J.-M., Makurira, H., and Kgabi, N.: Enhancing knowledge sharing and building capacity for water resources management: Insights from Southern Africa, IAHS-AISH Scientific Assembly 2022, Montpellier, France, 29 May–3 Jun 2022, IAHS2022-729, https://doi.org/10.5194/iahs2022-729, 2022.